Right at the end of summer (in the middle of that heatwave we had at the start of September, which I am totally counting as summer because it was craaaaazy hot) I headed to West London for a Nice Day Out at Osterley Park.
Osterley Park itself is free to visit, but within the grounds you'll find Osterley House and its gardens which are run by the National Trust and have an entrance fee.
I got to the Park nice and early, walking up the long drive towards the house...
... past the Garden Lake...
... to the house itself. Pretty fancy, huh?
The ceiling of the portico is a teaser for the intricately decorated interior of the house.
There are some really fabulous spaces to explore here (several of which
you might recognise from the movie The Dark Knight Rises, in which
Osterley House starred as Wayne Manor) - just look at the entrance hall!
I happened to be reading this pattern-filled issue of UPPERCASE magazine on the train that day, which turned out to be the perfect reading material for a Nice Day Out spent oohing over patterns and repeated motifs and design details.
I spent ages looking round the house and its pretty gardens, and wandering round the park eating an icecream or two (on a hot day like that one was you definitely have to have icecream breaks instead of tea and cake breaks!).
I have to admit that I'd never even heard of Osterley before buying my Art Pass but I'm so glad to have discovered it, it's a gorgeous place and well worth a visit. I highly recommend the introductory talk (available on the hour) - this was very entertaining and a great introduction to the house and its colourful history.
Even if you just visit the park and don't venture inside the house, you can take a peek inside the stable block...
... where there's also a nice cafe and a little shop selling second hand books and plants from the gardens.
On the drive out of the park you'll also find a farm shop. I bought a selection of veggies for dinner, including this rather fabulous Romanesco broccoli (featuring yet more patterns!).
I'd never tried one of these before and couldn't resist treating myself to this one simply because of how gorgeous it was. I'm pleased to report that they're very tasty!